Tonight is the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.
You’re forgiven for not looking forward to the forced witty banter and painfully dry speeches but the NHL does plan to honor the surviving members of the Humboldt Broncos, the Stoneman Douglas High School hockey team and the first responders to the Las Vegas mass shooting last October.
In today’s links, there is more fallout from the Hoffman trade, connected to the John Tavares situation. The Philadelphia Flyers could make a big move at the draft, or they could snag two good players in the first round, plus old Penguins defenseman wants another chance and Mario Lemieux topped a set of TSN rankings.
• The surviving Humboldt Broncos reunited in Las Vegas on Tuesday night. If that tragedy doesn’t still hurt, you’re stronger than this writer. Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston has the heartfelt story of their reunion. (Sportsnet).
• The Penguins announced their home opener for the 2018-19 season. It is against Stanley Cup champion Washington at 7 p.m. Thursday Oct. 4 at PPG Paints Arena, the same team, of course, that ended the Penguins’ drive for a threepeat in the second round of the 2018 playoffs. The Capitals will already have raised their banner one night earlier against Boston. The full list of home openers is here. The full NHL schedule is due to be announced Thursday at 5 p.m. Eastern on NHL Network.
• TSN ranked the modern era No. 1 picks. Guess who is the best ever? (TSN.ca)
• Flyers GM Ron Hextall has built a rock-solid foundation in Philadelphia, even if it hasn’t yet completely translated to the NHL product. There is growing debate and speculation the Flyers could use their two first-round picks (Nos. 14 and 19) to move into the top 10. Sam Carchidi and Craig Button presented both arguments (Philadelphia Inquirer)
• Oh, by the way, Michael Russo of The Athletic reports the Flyers could trade Wayne Simmonds (The Athletic. sub. required).
• The Sharks flipped Ottawa Senators LW Mike Hoffman to the Florida Panthers yesterday for three draft picks because Senators GM Pierre Dorian doesn’t like dealing with teams in the same division. Their “profit” allowed them to clear space amid rampant speculation they will lock Tavares in Alcatraz until he agrees to join the fins (NBC Sports).
• Our old friend Lyle Richardson, a.k.a Spector’s Hockey, took a swing at predicting tonight’s NHL Awards. Thought, he totally whiffed on the Hart (Spector’s Hockey).
• Former Penguins defenseman Simon Despres is finally healthy again. He desperately wants another shot at the NHL and is willing to go anywhere. Last season, he played in the KHL. You know, the Penguins could use a bargain (La Presse).
• The Penguins surprised some and signed a prospect acquired in the Derick Brassard deal (TribLive).